View Full Version : Crap can get pretty crappy pretty fast.

June 25th, 2014, 08:24 PM
Friday 6/13 my ex-roommate and good friend texted to say that her SO had developed some sort of problem resulting in the total loss of vision from one eye. It subsided as they arrived at the ER in the middle of the night, then returned combined with fainting and upset stomach. Then fine again as if nothing had happened. Diagnosis: We have no clue, but our best guess is a pinched blood vessel on the back of the eye, and it could happen again, there's nothing we can do at this time.

Saturday 6/14 started weird and all day nothing felt right - details aren't important. In the evening I decided to try and salvage the day by refilling the BBQ propane tanks and having some steak for dinner. Got to the propane place and just as I got out of the car the dog jumped out, ran across a street, and got hit by a car. I cannot explain what I felt as I watched it happen and won't go into it. We rushed her to the doggy ER unsure what to expect but knowing it could have been MUCH worse. They treated her and scheduled a meeting on 6/16 with a surgeon and cautioned us about keeping her clean and dry, because she was bleeding from exposed muscle.

Monday 6/16 the surgeon showed us she had a small fracture in her RR tibia and her medial collateral ligaments had been - literally - vaporized. Seeing her on an OR table sedated with her leg spread wide open is about the most horrific thing I have ever seen in my life - and I work at a PI law firm where graphic imagery is part of the job. It's different when it's yours, obviously. Can't imagine having to deal with that for a child, although who knows - Sammy might as well be my kid.

Tuesday 6/17 we brought her back for surgery - removal of shattered bone and installation of an Arthrex FiberWire synthetic ligament and a pair of Arthrex Corkscrew bone anchors. I spent all day and all night learning a lot about the canine tarsocrural joint, injuries, treatments, and prognoses. It helped some having a shitty background in examining xrays (again, PI law firm) and having a good friend who has spent his life developing some badass medical implants.

Wednesday 6/18 we got her back, wrote a $5000 check and thanked the vet for letting us do it. There could have been internal or spinal or cranial injuries - a ligament that is prone to damage in dogs anyway (terrible design - a clear cut product liability case if ever there was one) was lucky. It was lucky it was a 2014 Camry and not some old car with metal bumpers or a truck with ground clearance. Her butt bounced off the front and she had a severe case of road rash. It could have taken hours or days to see a vet and infection could have set in, instead of taking 50 minutes to have her on a table being cleaned up and evaluated. I just keep telling myself those things. I have been trying to avoid being angry that the driver failed to see Sammy cross a sidewalk and a lane of traffic and stop directly in front of her car and could have easily stopped had she not been speeding (~40mph in a 30mph). She wasn't even on the brakes until she hit Sammy. The 30 or 40 feet saved by going the speed limit would have made all the difference. Anyway... it could have been far worse.

Sunday 6/19 Sammy was getting over the sedation and morphine and starting to act normal again, just in time to receive a call that my mom was in the ER with heart arrhythmia. She was medicated, stable, and being kept overnight for observation with no immediate threats, but no immediate explanations either.

Monday 6/20 Mom was discharged with the only probable explanation being a weird OTC supplement side effect so it's been replaced with a different one. I've got such mixed feelings about the state of medicine right now.

Wednesday 6/25 we had a followup visit with the vet, who I've since learned is incredibly accomplished. Writes papers, teaches veterinary medicine at UCD, specializes in exactly the type of surgery she rendered for our puppy. Not a big fan of corporate medicine, even for animals, but our neighborhood vet (who is excellent) just could never afford to keep a person like this on their payroll. I consider us genuinely blessed that we had access to her. Sammy is healing well and shows no signs of infection or undiagnosed injury. The long term is very promising with a return to full joint functionality but an elevated risk of reinjury due primarily to the bone loss. In three weeks she'll be on a splint. In the interim, restricted activity and a 24x7 watch to be sure she doesn't compromise the surgery site intentionally or accidentally.

I'm mostly off the grid right now - one day a week at work and the rest of the time literally staring at the dog. It's a weird experience. I don't recommend it. I also don't recommend taking "shortcuts" through residential areas but if you must stick to the speed limit. However, I'm a slightly bigger proponent of Camrys than I used to be.

G'day Mate
June 25th, 2014, 08:42 PM
Well I'm glad your dog is on the mend. Do you have pictures of her?

I hope your mum's new supplement works. Is she treating something with it? As for your friend's partner - not having an explanation sucks.

June 25th, 2014, 09:15 PM
My thoughts are with you.

June 25th, 2014, 11:23 PM
Harsh, bro, but I hope things work out on all fronts soon.

June 26th, 2014, 12:15 AM
I'm mostly off the grid right now

Not sure, in similar circumstances I'd know what the grid was!

Stay positive - glad your dog is on the mend, and hope your mother follows suit.

June 26th, 2014, 12:40 AM
I felt pretty shitty most of last week, but I'm feeling a lot better about everything right now. I had a long, rambling talk with my boss (who is incredibly understanding about my need to be with my dog) and the simple truth is that on the whole my life is pretty cool. The events of the last two weeks just seem awful in comparison to how totally decent the rest of everything is. That much crazy stuff in such a short time just feels like a physical blow - and laying around with an animal that is confused and in pain doesn't help. Count your blessings and not your worries is the saying, sometimes it just takes a little reminding of what the priority should be. Kevin will be fine, Mom will be fine, and Sam will be fine. They're already fine. It's time to move on to stuff that doesn't suck. Well, that's the plan, anyway.

June 26th, 2014, 01:07 AM
Well I'm glad your dog is on the mend. Do you have pictures of her?

The girl is the designated Life Documentarian, so they're all on the server or her phone. But one I've always got with me (because it makes me laugh) is this one:


This is my ex-roommate's cat. They were the best of friends. I know she misses Abel - if you say his name she goes looking for him.

And this one:


because it happens to be with a BMW exhaust. ;)

She was a stray that my friend's parents took in, and they moved and couldn't keep her. We took her from them because I didn't want her to go to a kennel. She such a good and loyal friend I just can't imagine life without her. I've taken in a lot of strays over the years, and Sammy is the only one I never thought about finding another home for. She's a little nuts, but in a protective way. She always has the best intentions.

We were told she was probably a mutt, and while we don't know for sure we think she might be an Australian Kelpie... she has all the traits including herding instincts and insane jumping abilities. She certainly looks the part:


Since I am getting mushy I will mention the sweetest, saddest thing that has ever happened to me:

While the surgeon had her on the OR table and was investigating the damage to her ankle, she called us back to show us the problem. I walked back and Sammy was laying there asleep with a respirator on and her leg slit wide open, bone and sinew exposed. The doctor moved her foot around demonstrating how the missing ligament resulted in an uncontrolled joint movement, and I started to ask whether the ligament damage had compromised the joint material. The second she heard my voice she woke up and looked right at me with the saddest eyes - wtf is happening to me? I fucking near lost it, and pet her back to sleep. It was a surreal moment for me. I really hope I never have to look inside my dog ever again.

June 26th, 2014, 02:20 AM
Damn.... Best wishes with everything.

June 26th, 2014, 04:29 AM
Kevin will be fine, Mom will be fine, and Sam will be fine. They're already fine.

Amen to that.

June 26th, 2014, 05:30 AM
Beautiful dog, TSG.
Glad everyone is fine now. But best wishes nonetheless.

June 26th, 2014, 05:43 AM
Dang, sorry to hear. :(

June 26th, 2014, 06:15 AM
Such is the life of a kind and compassionate person such as yourself. Other's tragedies become YOUR tragedies. It's the sign of a person with a conscience and character.

And don't get me started on my fear and loathing of "June 13th". (I don't mean this past, particular FRIDAY the 13th... I mean ALL June 13ths.) More Very Bad Things have happened in my life and June 13th than should be mathematically possible.

Anyway, stay strong, keep pouring out love and kindness to those around you, and all will be well.

June 26th, 2014, 06:50 AM
Feel for you man... :(

Wife and I were sort of like that last year all the way up to beginning of this year... our 17yr old cat somehow broke his leg in the backyard over nite. Not sure how. Maybe a fight with racoon or chasing some wild animal and then fell... whatever the cause, he broke his hindleg pretty good. shattered into multiple pieces. Yep, surgery cost us about $5000 too and he was fixed! Unfortunately our toddler got too excited one day and spook the cat and cause some complications... which required another corrective surgery. We end up caging him longer than necessary to help him recover better and to protect him from our kid!

During that time, my father-in-law also got real sick and stayed in the hospital for months! We actually bought cruise tickets an year in advance(not refundable and not transferable).

Anyway, I think that cat and my father-in-law are probably the 2 things my wife love the most in this world. Luckily my father-in-law recovered just in time for our cruise vacation! But unfortunately after spending nearly $10k on our cat..., although he eventually recovered from the broken leg... perhaps the stressed induced by caging him for the better part of the year caused a tumor in his stomach to grow out of control... Vet didn't feel comfortable operating on it since its real close to multiple vital organs... and we also don't want him to suffer thru another major surgery... so we had to put him to sleep this January... I don't think I've ever cried so much in my life... wife was also so very heartbroken and even got pissed at God! But hey, our cat is after all 17 yrs old. Perhaps it's just his time to go... we just spend some dough and bought some extra time with him...

Anyway, yeah, this world is full of shit and for sure things will get shitty, but try to look on the bright side..., sometimes shit like trees and plants can benefit from our shit! In our case, the vets are the plants and the trees I guess! ;) And another moral of the story is that pet owners ought to get pet insurance while they're young and cheap! It's well worth it!

Stay strong dude! We don't know what the future might hold so enjoy and cherish every moment!

June 27th, 2014, 03:20 PM
Doggy started putting a little weight on her bum leg today, which is huge progress. Ginormous. She is still a little sad though. :(


G'day Mate
June 27th, 2014, 04:30 PM
Awww look at her. Cool dog. I like dogs. She does look a bit kelpieish, but hard to tell on a bitzer like her.

June 27th, 2014, 04:35 PM

June 27th, 2014, 05:14 PM
Poor puppy.